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lgpiper

Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Way Some People Die
Ross Macdonald
Envy of Angels
Matt Wallace
The Fellowship of the Frog
Edgar Wallace
Code of Conduct (The Jani Kilian Chronicles Book 1)
Kristine Smith
A Good Death
Christopher R. Cox
The Black Cargo
John P. Marquand
A Highland Christmas
M.C. Beaton
Tales from Moominvalley
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
Moominland Midwinter
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton

The Valley of Silent Men

The Valley of Silent Men - James Oliver Curwood Oh.my.God! This is silly, and also appalling. What ever was I thinking? I blame it all on my spouse's grandfather, who introduced me to James Oliver Curwood some 49 years ago, when we had just begun courting.

So, Jim Kent, a Mountie, lies in bed. He thinks he's dying, so confesses to having murdered someone or other so as to get the guy the Mounties had fingered, Sandy McGregor, set free. An amazingly beautiful young woman visits Kent, briefly, and he is immediately smitten by her long raven tresses and her violet-flamed eyes. Also her tiny feet.

Well, it turns out Kent was lying and he didn't kill someone or other. But his testimony convicts him. But...the ravishing young woman, Marette Radisson, comes to the jail and frees him. They flee up the river into the north. They are separated when their boat crashes on the rapids, and each presumes the other is done for. But each persists on to the "Valley of the Silent Men" so as to commune with the soul of the "lost" one. And so forth.

The sexism in this is appalling. Yeah, I know it was written in 1920, but even for that time it seems appalling to me. The silly, self-indulgent romantic fantasies of the main character are appalling. But, back in the dark ages, I was attracted to the works of James Oliver Curwood, chuckling at the rampant sexism and self-indulgent romantic fantasies. I'm appalled at what I once was.